McDonalds announced their meal collaboration with reggaeton singer J Balvin. This is the fast food chain’s second celebrity collaboration, after rapper Travis Scott had a limited time meal and merchandise for the month of September.
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 5, 2020
J Balvin, full name José Álvaro Osorio Balvín, is a Colombian reggaeton singer. Referred to as the “Prince of Reggaeton,” he has sold over 35 million records worldwide, and is one of the top Latin musical artists in the U.S. Committed to only singing in Spanish, he has worked with big names such as Cardi B and Beyonce, been featured on countless remixes including Justin Bieber’s Sorry and Ariana Grande’s The Way and Problem, and headlined large music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza.
Balvin is known for not only breaking the mold of traditional reggaeton singers with his colorful style and more lyrical singing, but he also shows a more compassionate side to rappers. He has hosted concerts for charity, cancelled shows in favor of protesting on behalf of immigrants in America, and started a petition in his home country Colombia to help out displaced Venezuelans during their economic crisis, just to name some of his activism.
In 2020 he appeared alongside friend Bad Bunny as a guest during Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s Super Bowl halftime performance. Most recently, he released his album, Colores, in March. Every song on the album was named after a color (except for “Arcoiris,” meaning rainbow), and the music videos feature a colorful clothing capsule collection made by Guess. The man is very talented and has quite the resume, making him a perfect choice for McDonald’s next celebrity collaboration.
J Balvin is the next artist to do a McDonalds deal order starting tomorrow pic.twitter.com/rmBlydtXcx
— Complex Ambition (@CmplxAmbition) October 5, 2020
McDonald’s Celebrity Partnerships
McDonalds is on a roll with their marketing these days. They started the school year off strong by announcing their limited Travis Scott meal, which was such a success that they began to run low on ground beef and bacon. Shortly after, they introduced their spicy nuggets, which have also done well. Now they reveal their second limited celebrity meal collaboration with J Balvin.
Business Insider reported that the recent partnership with celebrities is a marketing effort to help McDonalds stay relevant and connect with Gen Z. Additionally McDonalds’ Chief of Marketing Operations in U.S., Morgan Flatley, stated that the fast food company is “starting to lose our younger African American and multicultural consumers.” The Travis Scott meal helped them reconnect with the 11-24 year old demographic, an age group that they have struggled to connect with. Flatley told Business Insider that they chose J Balvin because he is a, “trailblazing international icon. He’s always been a regular at McDonald’s restaurants during his concert tours, and now we’re excited to bring his go-to order to our menus across the U.S. This celebrity partnership is almost like a ‘happy meal’ for adults, and is bringing the chain lots of attention.
everyone wants to have mc donalds meal now
— bry |ᴮᴱTHRILLER ERA (@COBAINLVRS) October 5, 2020
Balvin is excited about the collaboration and told Complex, “I consider myself a global citizen, but I’m from Medellín, Colombia and this is the first time they’re working with a Latino. It’s a big campaign, so I feel really proud of it.” He continues to say that he “grew up with McDonald’s…when they called me saying that they wanted to work with me, I immediately said yes because it connects with me and my childhood. I’ve always been a big fan.”
What the ‘J Balvin’ includes
McDonalds x J Balvin pic.twitter.com/gyU3SDKTJX
— SAINT (@saint) October 5, 2020
The J Balvin meal includes a Big Mac (no pickles), medium fries and an Oreo McFlurry. To encourage mobile orders, if you order through your phone, the McFlurry is FREE! Let’s hope the McFlurry machine is ready for this.
j balvin meal got a mcflurry but the ice cream machine is always down like how that supposed to work
— keenan (@grandaddiiii) October 5, 2020
Unlike the Travis Scott meal, only McDonald’s workers will get a custom Balvin shirt, although Balvin says to expect a few more “surprises” to come with the partnership.
ALL MC DONALDS EMPLOYEES ARE RECEIVING A JBALVIN SHIRT DESIGNED BY HIM WOOHOOO IM TELLING MY SISTER TO GIVE ME HERS
— antonia (@SERGIOSRBD) October 5, 2020
Similar to last month though, the ‘J Balvin’ will only be available for a month. The collaboration will end on November 1st, so act fast.
Twitter’s Initial Feedback
McDonalds gave us a little hint last night about the new collaboration. In case you didn’t get it, this is a reference to J Balvin’s album Colores (which means ‘colors’ in Spanish).
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 4, 2020
And J Balvin confirmed it himself this morning when he replied with his announcement ad.
— J BALVIN (@JBALVIN) October 5, 2020
Balvin fans are definitely excited.
I didnt get a travis scott meal but i'm def getting a j balvin one 😂 puro hype but idc
— 👁👄👁 (@lamevivi) October 5, 2020
J Balvin fans running to McDonalds to pick up his artist meal collaboration pic.twitter.com/QTM7PD6trB
— Rich (@UptownDCRich) October 5, 2020
There were a lot of rainbow jokes in response to the announcement, as to be expected when your most recent album is called ‘Colors.’
The new J Balvin meal at McDonald's 😂 pic.twitter.com/AsmroSfCYM
— Parceros United (@ParcerosUnited) October 5, 2020
everyone at mcdonalds this week:
“j balvin sent me, leggo” pic.twitter.com/jaTzKjyIAn
— juan moreno (@champagnejuani) October 5, 2020
Even celebrities poked some fun at the collaboration, like comedian Ben Schwartz. Or maybe he’s just jealous that McDonalds didn’t reach out to him first.
Just saw that McDonalds is teaming up with a new recording artist for a signature meal. So I wanted to remind everyone that the Ben Schwartz Meal is STILL available at @McDonalds for a limited time. Get yours before they run out! BON APPÉTIT! pic.twitter.com/z8eCfWnFGv
— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) October 5, 2020
But Is It All That Great?
These meals are not making everyone happy. In fact, someone complained about the meal being an outrageous $11 and accusing McDonalds of taking money from those they are trying to target with this campaign. Pricing varies at each location, but maybe these collab meals really aren’t worth it.
As a proud latino and a long time fan of J Balvin, I was deeply disappointed with the @JBALVIN X @McDonalds colab. The meal was close to $11.00. Sad that @McDonalds is trying to pocket from latinos who are excited about finally being represented in mainstream American culture.
— Neal Boseman (@NealBoseman) October 5, 2020
Other fans complained that they robbed Balvin of a cool meal. They might have missed the ad where he explained that this is exactly what he orders…sorry the Prince of Reggaeton doesn’t order something more impressive?
Wtf is this!! You get rid of your Travis Scott meal. A great deal , for this . Poor J Balvin on gives u a free Mc flurry. Nothing special nothing different. How are you going to do him like that so disrespectful. pic.twitter.com/7hho7RfSBF
— KinkyKatz (@KatzKinky) October 5, 2020
You know who else might not be thrilled with this new collaboration? The employees.
Mc Donald’s workers when they find out J Balvin dropped a meal . pic.twitter.com/zhTumv6kHD
— Papi Salvador🐰👹 (@soysalvador6) October 5, 2020
Everyone pray for McDonald’s workers apart from having to deal with Travis scott fans it’s now also J Balvin ones pic.twitter.com/3CcBbSnh2j
— Pancake the ambiguous🦕 (@GenderBegone) October 5, 2020
McDonald's employees: "I hope we never do another celebrity meal again"
McDonald's with J Balvin meal: pic.twitter.com/Ifiuv9H0vW
— hispanic wizard (@TheMaD_Cris) October 5, 2020
A special t-shirt just doesn’t cut it when you’re being swarmed by Balvin fans requesting free McFlurries.
It’s no secret that corporate companies are turning to influencer marketing to do a majority of their ad campaigns these days. Now fast food chains are jumping on the bandwagon to help connect with Gen Z! First Dunkin Donuts partnered with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and now McDonalds is solidifying their stake in the influencer marketing game with J Balvin as their second celebrity partnership. Now all we need is this:
So J Balvin getting a McDonald’s meal too? All i know is Burger King needs to collab with @iamcardib and bring us that WAPper Meal 🍔
— Eric (@eric_in_space) October 5, 2020
Are the meal collaborations going to stop here? Who do we think the next celebrity collaboration will be with? And more importantly, will the McFlurry machines be able to last the entire J Balvin month??